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Step Bars

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How to Install Step Bars

SUVs and pickups have gone bigger through the years. You might find it difficult to get inside your vehicle because of the high step that you need to take. It is also inconvenient for older people and kids because of their height disadvantage. So to make it easier for everyone to step in and out of your truck, try installing step bars or nerf bars. It's very easy to set them up. You won't be needing too many tools, and the task will only take you an hour or less to get it done.

Required skill level: Novice

Needed tools and materials

  • Socket wrench
  • Ratchet
  • Electric drill (optional)
  • Preparing for the task

    Check your step bar kit if all the needed parts and hardware are in. Also, inspect your vehicle if it has factory-drilled mounting holes. If there are none, grab an electric drill to create holes on your truck's frame. It would also be better if you clean your vehicle first before starting the installation.

    Locating the body-mounting brackets

    Get under the cab of your truck and look for the body-mounting brackets. Remove the bolts from the brackets. The number of bolts differs from one vehicle to another, but make sure that you remove the bolts at the front of the vehicle first. You will also find a rubber donut, which you need to take out as well.

    Replacing the bolts

    Get the long bolt from your step bar kit and slide it into the new bracket provided. Put the rubber donut back in and secure the bracket with the bolt. Remove the remaining bolts along the truck's frame and fasten the new bolts and brackets in place.

    Installing the step bars

    Position the step bar on top of the brackets. Make sure that the holes in the step bar are aligned with the holes in the brackets. Secure the step bar to the side of the vehicle by fastening the screws into the brackets. Follow the same process when installing the step bar on the other side of the truck.

    Tips

    • In drilling holes on your vehicle's frame, make sure that you check out the manufacturer's instructions first and that you follow these guidelines to avoid damages.
    • You may not screw the bolts in tightly until you're about to finish the installation, so you can still make adjustments as you assemble everything.

    Step Bars Articles

    • Westin vs. Aries: the Better Step Bars 11 January 2013

      Westin and Aries are two of the most recommended brands when it comes to step bars. Both are trusted names, which are also attributed to top-grade quality and durability. With all the reviews and opinions of car experts, enthusiasts, and owners, choosing which brand of step bar could be a difficult matter to deal with. Of course, we want to get the best for our vehicle and also something that's worth our penny. Here's a run-through of the features of Westin and Aries step bars:

      Product range

      Westin offers eight different types of step bars that are specific to design, size, and material. Feel free to choose among 6-inch, 4-inch, and 3-inch step bars; stainless steel, chrome and black, and platinum step bars; or between oval tube and round step bars. Aries, on the other hand, are only available in polished stainless steel and black powder coat.

      WINNER: Westin


      Installation

      Both Westin and Aries step bars require a no-drill installation, so both are definitely convenient for DIYers. But then, Aries step bars come with all mounting hardware needed. They are also designed with reinforced brackets, which give the driver an option between installing them with an existing step bar or as stand-alone application; whereas Westin step bars require different mounting brackets for every application.

      WINNER: Aries


      Compatibility

      Westin and Aries claim to have a direct fit to all models, but Aries has a more specific and concise list of vehicles that it is compatible with.

      WINNER: Aries


      Price

      Westin step bars are usually offered at around $220 to $300, but they could also go as high as $400-depending on the kind of step bar. Aries step bars, though, can be more budget-friendly. Some variants are priced as low as $100.

      WINNER: Aries


      Warranty

      Westin and Aries have the same rule of thumb for the warranty of their products. They offer a three-year warranty for their black and chrome step bars and a lifetime limited warranty for their stainless steel variants.

      WINNER: Westin and Aries


      The verdict

      Westin and Aries are brands that genuinely stand up to what they claim, and their credibility for high-quality step bars is there for a reason. Both have features that are clearly essential and convenient for car owners, but they also have their respective sets of drawbacks. In the end, you decide which of the two brands you will choose according to your preferences. If you want a wider selection of step bars, we recommend that you check out Westin. But if you opt for a cheaper find, Aries would be better.